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 Photo of Bulldog
Photo: courtesy of Mel Vincent

Bulldog Books

Group: Utility - Breed Standard


On 13th November in the year 1209, The Earl of Warren was standing on the ramparts of his castle at Stamford in Lincolnshire, when he looked up to see several butcher's dogs running through the streets of the town chasing a bull. He was so impressed by this sight, that he gave the butchers their own field to enable them to carry on running the dogs on the first day of Advent each year. To this day, Bulldogs are known as Stamford dogs. Soon after, the breed was developed into a baiting dog, however, in 1835 when the sport was outlawed, they became companion dogs.


Weight: Dogs: 25 kgs (55 lbs); bitches: 23 kgs (50 lbs).

A powerful and compact thick-set dog, with a massive headwhich is very broad and square. The forehead is flat with loose and wrinkled skin which does not overhang the face. From the stop there is a broad and deep furrow extending to the middle of the skull. The face is short with a broad muzzle which is blunt and inclines upward and the skin is wrinkled. The flews are thick, broad and very deep, overhanging the lower jaws at the sides, but not in front. Jaws are massive, with the lower jaw projecting in front of the upper and inclined upwards. From the front, the eyes are situated low down in the skull and well away from the ears. The ears are small and thin "rose ear" which are set high. The neck is very thick, deep and strong, being well arched. It is of moderate in length, being short rather than long, and has a lot of loose, wrinkled skin at the throat. The short body has stout limbs which are well muscled and in hard condition. The shoulders are broad, sloping and deep, being powerful and muscular. The brisket is round and very deep. The forelegs are thick, muscular and strong, being well developed and set wide apart, and present a bowed outline, although the bones are straight. The legs are slightly shorter than the hindlegs and the elbows are low and stand well away from the ribs. The hindquarters are high and strong, although lighter compared with the heavy foreparts. A wide, round and deep chest, the back is short and comparatively narower at the loins. The topline is a roach back, having a slight fall close behind the shoulders, the spine should rise up to the loins, higher than the top of the shoulder, then curve again suddenly to the tail forming an arch. The tail is set low, jutting out straight and then turning downwards. Their movement is heavy but gives the appearance to walking with short, quick steps on the tips of their toes. Their hind feet are not lifted high, and appear to skim the ground, running with one or the other shoulder rather advanced. Bitches are not so well developed or as grand as the males. Their coat is short, close and smooth with a fine texture. They can be whole colours, or have a black mask or muzzle. Only whole colours, whch are brilliant and pure, namely brindles, reds, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied. Black and black and tan are not desired.


The Bulldog conveys the impression of determination, strength and activity, yet they are loving, loyal and dependable. They have a great sense of fun as well as being alert, courageous and bold. Although Bulldogs tend to be friendly with strangers, some are also good guard dogs when on their home territory. They make excellent family pets and companions, being a true family dog, and are excellent with all children. However, they sometimes tend to jump up to play, and as they are hefty dogs, care must be taken that they do not knock children over. As will all animals, children must be taught to respect them.

Breed Health

Some bloodlines of Bulldogs can often be healthier than others. Some things to watch out for are soft palettes, heart and skin problems. When buying a puppy it is important to enquire about health. Care must be taken that they are not stung by wasps or bees, as they may have an adverse reaction. Bulldogs must never become overheated, and care must be taken when the weather is hot to keep them cool. The average life span of a bulldog is approximately 8 years.

Breed Care

Bulldogs have wrinkles of loose skin around their head which must be carefully dried and dusted every day. Some have very tight tails, and these too must be checked daily and kept clean and dry. Bulldogs have a short coat which is easily looked after with a regular brushing, a piece of silk or chamois leather is ideal to get their coats gleaming. Those which live in the house do tend to moult throughout the year, whilst those that live in a kennel moult seasonally. Although they can moult a fair amount, the hairs are easily cleaned up with a powerful hoover.


As puppies, Bulldogs are very active, and can play non-stop all day. However, as they get older they slow down. While some Bulldogs enjoy long walks, some do not like walking at all. However, to keep them fit and healthy, it is recommended that they have at least two medium walks a day. It is very important that Bulldogs are never exercised in very warm weather, and in the summer walks should take place early in the morning and late at night when the air is cooler. It is also important to always carry water.


Bulldogs tend to be cleverer than you believe. They are reasonably easy to train, and can be quick to learn. The trick is to keep them interested in what you want and to keep training sessions short. They are usually quite obedient most of the time, however, they do have their moments when they pretend to be deaf and carry on doing their own thing! See our books on training

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